'Bent Finger Lou' Testifies At Big Philly Mob Trial

'Bent Finger Lou' Testifies At Big Philly Mob Trial

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PHILADELPHIA -

When government witness "Bent Finger" Lou Monacello was working the streets, he was slick, cocky and direct.

He was the same before a jury today in federal court, where he's testifying against Mob Boss Joe Ligambi and six others.

His main focus Friday was mob captain George Borgesi, his uncle, Joe Ligambi and mob violence.

"He's the toughest guy in the case," joked defense attorney Joseph Santauguida.

In front of the jury, Monacello testified how he, mob captain Anthony Staino and two others set out to beat a man who had gotten the best of Borgesi in a street fight. Monacello and the others tailed the guy in two cars for weeks on Borgesi's orders, then beat him with a baseball bat as he walked his dog.

"I swung with all my might," Monacello bragged. "I split his head wide open."

FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser asked Staino for a comment on Monacello's early testimony.

"He can't speak, Dave. Sorry," Staino's lawyer Gregory Pagano said.

The guy they called "Big Louie" then explained how he used to pick up Christmas contributions from bookies for Ligambi, over $15,000 each Christmas while he was also paying thousands in tribute money to Borgesi.

"His uncle is greedy," Monacello told the jury. "He's the boss. He never liked me."

Monacello also testified how he hit his business partner with a gun at his South Philly bar, Gavone's, after someone told Monacello's wife he was cheating on her.

"I got them in a room and I told them, 'Nobody's leaving 'til you tell me who,'" Monacello said. "I cracked him right in the head."

The defense team wouldn't comment because of a judge's gag order. Neither would Ligambi's brother.

"Phil, anything you wanna say about Lou?" Schratwieser asked Ligambi as he left court.

Ligambi shook his head and didn't respond.

Monacello told the jury, "I'm not a murderer. I never killed anybody."

He admitted that he routinely threatened people on behalf of Borgesi, Ligambi and himself.

"Don't pay me," he said. "You're a dead man."

Monacello will be back on the stand for what is expected to be a rough round of cross examination on Tuesday.

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